In Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway evolved slowly from a gateway to Fairmount Park into an automobile conduit to the city. With More Park, Less Way, PennPraxis worked with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to recommend a series of series of actions to shape the evolution of the Parkway into a 21st century public space. Through a comprehensive civic engagement process, PennPraxis recommended designing high-quality urban parks on overlooked parkland, reconsidering how the community accesses the Parkway, programming the public space along the Parkway in creative and consistent ways, and developing a structure for ongoing management of the Parkway as a special district within the city.
Because of robust public interest generated through the civic engagement sessions, Parks and Recreation was able to build an audience to support the quick implementation of a summer pop-up park in Eakins Oval. During the summer of 2013, Parks and Recreation reclaimed “The Oval” as the “new shape of fun,” creating a public amenity out of a highly visible surface parking lot.